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Young minors lie inside a pod at a detention center in Donna, Texas. Young minors lie inside a pod at a detention center for unaccompanied children run by U.S. Customs and Border Protection in Donna, Texas, March 30, 2021 (AP photo by Dario Lopez-Mills).

The U.S. Is Breaking the Law on the Southern Border

Friday, July 23, 2021

Over the past few weeks, activists led by former border patrol agent turned refugee advocate Jenn Budd gathered at Fort Bliss military base outside El Paso, Texas, to protest the continued detention of children, many of them unaccompanied, in crowded conditions while they await asylum hearings. The protests are a continuation of direct action sparked off two summers ago by then-President Donald Trump’s draconian immigration policies, which included forcing immigrants to await asylum hearings in the dangerous city of Juarez, Mexico, rather than in El Paso; separating children from their parents or guardians upon detention, while deporting 1,400 parents back to their countries of origin without their children; and holding immigrants that made it across the border in crowded, inhumane conditions that fit the historical definition of “concentration camps”—internment centers where targeted groups are detained without trial or administrative proceedings.

Since taking office, President Joe Biden has rolled back some of these policies. Refugees are now allowed to remain in the U.S. while their asylum claims are processed. Trump’s cap of admitting only 15,000 refugees per year has been raised to approximately 70,000. And Biden has established a task force to reunite the remaining separated children with their families and move children out of detention into temporary housing while they await asylum hearings.  ...

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